Mediation is a useful tool for those considering a divorce. Litigated divorces are expensive, frustratingly slow and possibly embarrassing depending on what people say in court. Mediation is private and can be faster than litigation. It also gives a couple more control over the outcome of their divorce proceedings.
If you and your spouse have agreed to attend the mediation together to work out property division for custody arrangements, the three steps below will help you prepare for that sometimes challenging process.
Learn the basics of Texas state law
You can negotiate any sort of settlement that seems appropriate and fair in mediation, but understanding the standard legal approach for litigated divorces can help. Otherwise, you might set unattainable goals and set yourself up for disappointment or worse, a failed mediation attempt.
When you understand how a Texas family law judge would likely divide your property, you can then advocate for reasonable terms during negotiations with your spouse. Texas is a community property state, so much of your personal property and even your debts might get split up if you go to court.
A judge will usually focus on what they think would be best for the kids if you need to make a custody arrangement in court. There are also specific state laws about the amount and duration of child support and spousal support or alimony. Knowing what is likely in litigation can help you negotiate more reasonably with your spouse.
Review your financial records and property disclosures
Getting a fair and reasonable property settlement requires that you carefully consider what you and your spouse acquired together during your marriage and what financial circumstances you will both be in after the divorce. You need to have a realistic idea about the value of your assets and the contents of your marital estate to ask for an appropriate chair of your property.
When you have realistic expectations based both on the current status of your household finances and Texas state law, you will be in a good position to insist on appropriate terms during a mediation session. Advance planning can help you make the most of alternative dispute resolution systems that could help you during your divorce.